Rio Grande County Museum
They Came for the Adventure!
580 Oak Street
Del Norte, CO 81132
Open Year Round
10-4 Tuesday - Friday
10-3 on Saturday
$2 for adults, $1 for children 6-12 yrs of age.
We are a Blue Star Museum participant - providing free admission to active military and their families.
The Museum offers visitors a look into the cultural history of the area from the Native Americans, to the mountain men fur trappers, to the Mexican land grants and the settlers from New Mexico, to the gold seekers, the farmers, ranchers and merchants who came for land, freedom and a better way of life. Many came for the adventure.
The museum offers learning opportunities for visitors of all ages. Notebooks of research on the exhibits are available and the director and staff are always willing to give guided tours. The Gift shop provides shopping for art work by local artists as well as history books of the area. During the summer month, art show featuring area artists change monthly. If you are interested in a walk about town we have a wonderful Walking Tour of the historic buildings and homes around town. The brochure can be purchased in the museum's Gift Shop.
Of special interest in the Del Norte area is the Old Spanish Trail. Between 1830 and 1848 the Trail was a major trade route running between Santa Fe, New Mexico and Los Angeles, California. Traces of the original trail can still be seen in the area.
Who would have thought that at one time, Del Norte, Colorado was home to one of the finest telescopes in the entire country! The year was 1885, and the project was the dream of the Reverend George M. Darley of the Presbyterian College of the Southwest. The Observatory was placed high on Lookout Mountain and was the largest telescope west of the Mississippi. Visit the Observatory while in Del Norte.
This museum offers stimulating learning opportunities for visitors of all ages. You can view a comprehensive exhibit of Native American Rock Art, Fremont's Expedition, a Horno and the, "Los Primeros Pobladores" exhibit that takes the Old Spanish Trail from a trail to permanent plazas and settlements. Lecture series are offered, in addition to special programs for school children. Visitors also have the chance to browse through our gift store and view exhibits of contemporary regional artisans.
We proudly participate in Covered Wagon Days with our annual Ice Cream Social held each year in late July/early August.